Monday, October 10, 2016

Fact-Checking the Second Clinton-Trump Debate

Overall, the debate can be summed up as follows: Trump lied a lot, Clinton not very much. So yet again, we see the man that the Christian Right has flocked to revealing himself as a pathological liar. So much for Biblical values or simple honesty.  And when Trump wasn't lying, he was pouting and making also sorts of weird faces - and sniffling constantly too - while Clinton remained poised and smiling. A piece in the Washington Post fact checked the debate.  Here are highlights:
In the second presidential debate, Donald Trump once again relied on many dubious and false claims that have been repeatedly been debunked. His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, on occasion made a factual misstep, but it didn’t even compare to Trump’s long list of exaggerations.
Your [Obamacare] health insurance is going up … 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent.”— Trump
Premiums are expected to increase overall in 2017, but Trump is cherry-picking from the highest proposed increases in the insurance marketplace.
State-by-state weighted average increases range from just 1.3 percent in Rhode Island to as high as 71 percent in Oklahoma. But the most common plans in the marketplace will see an average increase of 9 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s July analysis. These plans have been used as the benchmark to calculate government subsidies.
The vast majority of marketplace enrollees (about eight in 10) receive government premium subsidies. They are protected from a premium increase (and may even see a decrease) if they stay with a low-cost plan.
You owe the president an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal — he’s another real winner that you have — and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago, she was, saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology.”
— Trump
To support the debunked notion that Clinton’s campaign originated “birther” rumors during the 2008 presidential campaign, Trump once again referenced longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal and Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle. But he’s grasping at straws  and once again refused to apologize for his own role in promoting the birther fable.
“Hillary Clinton attacked those same women, attacked them viciously.”— Donald Trump
Trump has used this line of attack throughout the campaign, sometimes saying Hillary Clinton was an “enabler” of her husband’s affairs, saying she would “go after these women and destroy their lives.”
One of the interviews that Clinton’s critics have pointed to is a Jan. 27, 1998 interview on the Today Show, saying it showed Clinton was discrediting allegations by then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky. This interview took place a week after her husband was accused of having an affair with Lewinsky, and Clinton blamed Republican foes for making false attacks against her husband.
This interview, by many accounts, was certainly pivotal to saving Bill Clinton’s presidency, as his wife forcefully backed him. But by Hillary Clinton’s account at the time her husband had not yet admitted the Lewinsky affair to her. That did not happen until Aug. 15, 1998, according to her memoir.
“Bill Clinton was abusive to those women.”— Trump
While Trump has ramped up the attacks on the Clintons and the sex allegations against Bill Clinton, the record shows that Trump dismissed or minimized these very allegations for many years. Trump dismissed the women involved as losers and not attractive. Trump even suggested that Americans would have been more forgiving if Clinton had slept with more beautiful women.
“In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment.” — Trump
There is no evidence this was the case in the 2015  terrorist attack that killed 14 people. There have been unconfirmed second- or third-hand reports — a friend of a friend of a neighbor — that a neighbor claimed to have noticed suspicious activity but did not report anything for fear of doing racial profiling. The religion of this supposed neighbor is unknown, but presumably a fear of racial profiling would suggest the neighbor was not Muslim.
“You [Clinton] get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails, and then you acid wash them or bleach them, as you would say, very expensive process.”
— Trump
Trump is technically correct on the timeline, but Clinton’s staff had requested the emails to be deleted months before the subpoena, according to the FBI’s August 2016 report. Moreover, there’s no evidence Clinton deleted the emails in anticipation of the subpoena, and FBI director James Comey has said his agency’s investigation found no evidence any work-related emails were “intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”
“I was against the war in Iraq. Has not been debunked.”— Trump
This is just totally false.  We have found no evidence of his early opposition.

There's more, but the take away is that Trump is like an elementary school bully who lies at will and will say anything that he believes is useful at the time.  His word means nothing. 

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